• Erin Griffith

Cankles to Ankles: Don't Be "That Guy"

Before I start "that guy" refers to any support person in your life regardless of gender or relationship. I know it appears sexist, but here, I am using it as a generic term for the sake of humor.

I guess this post is more for the "support people" in your life than you. Or it is for those who are married to or are dating "that guy" to let you know that you are not alone.

When someone decides that it is their time to lose weight, it is important to be supportive. That support can take multiple forms depending on what that person needs.

For instance, I am viciously independent. When I tackle a problem, I tend to NEED to tackle it alone. When I decided to lose weight, it was a very personal decision even though my husband was doing the same thing. I did not require a lot of praise from anyone but myself because I was doing this FOR MYSELF. I was able to track my results from multiple apps on my phone. I posted online sometimes, but not necessarily to get praise, but to help other people. I knew when I was doing well and I knew when I was falling short.

Even though my husband and I were (are) going on this adventure together (so I kind of had a partner), we had very different approaches. My husband is very "type A." He follows the rules and does not deviate. He also tends to be preoccupied with the idea of "fairness." I am not that rigid nor do I believe in fairness.

"Fairness" does not exist in weight loss. Men lose weight faster than women. More active people get to eat more. DO NOT EXPECT FAIRNESS!! Don't be that guy.

Unless someone needs you to nag them. Don't. If they come walking into the room eating a hostess cupcake....they know that they are eating a hostess cupcake, and they know that it is not on their diet. Most people who are losing weight are fat - not stupid. There is no need to say "should you really be eating that?" They probably feel crappy anyway-emotional eaters are going to struggle. Don't reinforce the negative energy they are already feeling. DON'T BE THAT GUY!!

Every day is a new day. They can start over tomorrow.

Clothing sizes are different all over the world. There are no standardized sizes. Sometimes I wear a large shirt, sometimes XL, sometimes XXL. It all depends on where the clothes are made. Some brands run smaller and are made for women who don't have hips or breasts (I'm talking to you Ralph Lauren!) Don't judge someone's weight loss or weight in general based on the size of their clothes. I have a friend who cuts the size tags out of all her clothes so that her husband doesn't comment on the size clothes she wears. For the love of God: DON'T BE THAT GUY!!

If you are a fitness nut. And I define "fitness nut" by my own fitness routine, which is lack luster. I do not have "leg day" or "arm day." I have "look, today I moved more than usual-yay for me!" day. I have "I closed all the rings on my apple watch" day. Anyway, if you are a fitness nut; feel free to ask a person who is working on weight loss to join you. BUT, do not disparage them if they choose not to go with you.

Some people need to work into fitness slowly. It can be REALLY depressing to go to Cross Fit with your super buff and fit buddy and everyone there is cut like Chris Hemsworth (pre-Avenger's End Game-if they are like me, they probably already look like End-Game Hemsworth) and can lift 700 lbs, do 1000 sit-ups, run 6 miles, and jump straight up onto a stack of 5 wooden crates.

It can be embarrassing/discouraging when your fat rolls jiggle as you jump and fail to land on one wooden crate or when you can only lift the bar. It takes A LOT of confidence to start that process, let them work into fitness on their own and it may not be the same type of fitness you are interested in. Your way of staying fit works for you, it may not work for everyone. Do not disparage or harass them. DON'T BE THAT GUY!!

And finally. If you are on a different nutrition plan or diet than someone else and it is working AWESOME for you, that is great. But there is not one way to lose weight. There are diets that work for some people that are downright dangerous for others. There are a million third party vendors trying to sell miracle pills and snake oil. There are shakes and smoothies, and juice diets, and fasting diets, low carb, no carb, vegetarian/vegan diets-so, so many. I get that for some, selling your pills or shakes and crap may be your lively-hood, but if someone has found a way to lose weight that works for them, you need to encourage them, not try to change their trajectory. If a particular diet did not work for you but it is working for them; there is no need to expound about all the negatives about that diet. It didn't work for YOU. You needed something different.

I am super guilty of doing this because of my experience with the Atkins diet. But low carb/no carb really works for some people and I need to keep my mouth shut.

Don't be negative about the weight loss plan somebody chooses, it is hard enough already. Don't be a know-it-all. DON'T BE THAT GUY!!

It is all about support, not criticism. Make sure to ask what type of support someone needs. Some people need you to slap the Little Debbie's out of their hands. Other's don't. Some people need to go to cross fit 5 days a week. Some just need a brisk walk. Let the process, the person, and you all evolve as time progresses.


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